The last two months

My mom used to say that she could tell how busy I was by how little I was blogging. My plan is to get back into blogging a little more regularly (I feel like that’s been a recurring plan, but anyway), but to tide you over till then, here’s I’ve been up to the last couple months:

BaptismCelebrated East Side’s 2nd anniversary and a number of baptisms. We had a wonderful time thanking God for what he’s done in the life of East Side parish (it’s hard to believe we’re already two years in!) and in the lives of many individuals who had committed — and recommitted — themselves to Christ.

Fish!Went on vacation with Carolyn’s family. It was a great time of rest, rejuvenation, and reading; and I also got to go offshore fishing for the first time — we caught a few! The couple books I stormed through while in sabbath mode are two I’d highly recommend: Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, and Christena Cleveland’s Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces That Keep Us Apart. (Y’all know books are my love language by now, right?)

 

John & Bethany's weddingOfficiated two weddings, including that of my dear friends John and Bethany (above). John and Bethany were both part of small groups I led, at various points, and their relationship and story is such a testimony to the gospel and to the goodness of God. It was an absolute privilege to perform their ceremony. (You can see some highlights from their beautiful wedding here.)

Asher sleeping 1We got a dog!
Carolyn and I would like you to meet our pup — well, if you’re friends with, or following, either of us on social media, you’ve probably already met him. He’s a mini-goldendoodle and just turned four months. We named him Asher, which means “happy” in Hebrew, because we felt like he was going to be a source of happiness, not just for us but anyone he encountered. (This is not to say that he’s been a source of constant happiness, as anyone who’s ever had a puppy — or a baby — can attest; but he’s a mostly chill, pretty smart, mildly introverted dog. And we’re grateful for that.)

Also, his full name is Asher Russell Rodgers Fung. Or ARRF. (It just worked out that way.) #gohawks

Blogged for Sojourners: “Learning to Walk in the Desert.” Excerpt: “I used to be afraid of the desert. … To me, the wilderness was a place not only of nothingness but, worse, of negation. … To be in the desert was to be deserted by God.”

Boundaries Series GraphicPreached three out of five weeks at The District Church for our Creating Healthy Boundaries series, which you can listen to here:

The other two sermons were “Creating Healthy Boundaries in Your Family” and “Creating Healthy Boundaries in Your Dating and Marriage,” which you should also go listen to.

Anniversary dinnerCelebrated our first anniversary. This is last on the list, but by no means the least. We had a low key evening, hitting up a really good restaurant in Georgetown called After Peacock Room (go check it out). So grateful for the grace of God this year.

And with that, back to life (back to reality).

Back from break

Apologies for the long silence–things have been busy these last few weeks: after Ash passed away, I headed to the UK for a few days for his funeral. Then I was away at the Fresh Expressions US National Gathering for a couple days. And then I was off to California for a vacation/catch-up-with-friends for a week, from which I got back at 6:30am this morning.

It’s been good–tough and tiring, but good. God has been present even in the midst of some difficult situations. And while I’m physically tired from traveling, the last couple weeks have been spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and relationally refreshing. So I’m thankful for that.

I can’t wait to get back to life as normal, including blogging regularly again. There are plenty of things that God’s been laying on me that I’m looking forward to sharing soon.

But I have to say, being at the beach is always restful, and I’ve missed it. Manhattan Beach (below) is definitely one of my faves.

Vacation schedule

Today I talked to my brother in Australia, drank tea, ate lunch, spent some time with God, watched Part 1 of The Pacific, drank tea, played some PS3, did some reading, talked to my old friend Ash (for the first time in years!), played some more PS3, had dinner and dessert with TiTi and James and Christine, drank tea, played some more PS3 (with Tim, this time).

Didn’t change my clothes at all today.

It. Was. Awesome.

Gershom, in transition once more

Well … I’m back. Back in London, and back to blogging. It’s been awhile since I’ve had the time, energy and desire to blog: life has been exhausting—good, but exhausting. And so reenergizing (of the sort that required less mental work) took precedence.

Looking back, I don’t think it was the optimal way of doing life. I’ve realized that I need times for processing and writing and recharging to be built in on a much more frequent and regular basis in order to thrive, but for my first year out of school and working full-time, it was a good year.

And now? Well, once again I find myself living up to my pseudonym: Gershom. Once more I tread the well-worn but tenuous steps of transition, the simultaneously exciting and uncomfortable position of not being what sure what comes next but trusting that God knows what he’s doing because more often than not I don’t.

The internship with Sojourners is done. My worldly possessions are boxed and stored at friends’ houses in California and DC. As I write this, I’m sitting next to an astrophysicist on a plane that’s halfway across the Atlantic.

For the next few weeks I’ll be back in the UK, home for eight good years, home to a lot of memories, and a place I haven’t been since I left in 2006. I’ll be catching up with friends, eating at favorite restaurants and visiting favorite haunts, and processing the last year(s). And then I plan to be in Wheaton, Illinois, doing some campaigning for my friend Ben Lowe, who’s running for U.S. Congress (more on this to come), while I also try to figure out next steps.

One thing I know for certain is that the One who guides me and walks with me won’t lead me astray. And that’s enough; for now and for always.

[Oh … if you’re in London in the next few weeks (probably till mid-September), shoot me an email or a Facebook message or a tweet. And if you’re in the Wheaton/Chicago area for the few weeks after that, likewise.]